Tag: parenting

Home > ArchivesTag: parenting

Real Talk.

March 16, 2023 by in category Writing tagged as , , , ,

Real talk rn…I have to give so much kudos to those of you that have mastered the multi-tasking of parenting, working full-time, and writing. I’ll fully admit that I’m not the greatest at it.

Last fall my youngest came home with a flier for the Girl Scouts. She waved that thing in my face and said, “Mommy, I want to do this!”

Being that both my kids are already enrolled in multiple sports, swimming lessons, and that she was just getting into the groove of kindergarten, I was a little hesitant. I’m so glad that I ultimately said yes because she’s truly found her tribe in this pint-sized troop, and it’s been a wonderful experience. 

What I didn’t expect was that cookie season would be a FULL TIME SIDE HUSTLE!

I anticipated that there would be some time commitment, but let’s be real, six year olds are not equipped to manage the inventory and sales of this (at least my six year old isn’t). I can barely figure out the application used for online sales!! I had to create my own spreadsheet for keeping track of the cookie inventory that we’ll be responsible for if we don’t sell these things. For the love of Thin Mints, my sanity (and my waistline) is very much ready for cookie season to end.

Another thing that I need to end is the SNOW.

As I write this, Minnesota is experiencing our seventh snowiest winter on record. This miserable achievement is compounded by the fact that my husband injured his neck earlier this winter and I’ve been tasked with mastering the BEAST of a snow blower that we own. My husband is basically “Tim The Tool Man Taylor” and every motorized piece of equipment we own is unnecessarily massive.

Please send sunshine and red wine (It pairs nicely with Thin Mints).

man removing snow with snow blower
Photo by Александр Коновалов on Pexels.com
1 0 Read more

Heck Yeah! Raising Creative Cain (and Abel)

July 15, 2011 by in category Archives tagged as , ,

It’s not easy being the only normal person in a house full of creative folks, just ask my husband.

A high school football player who grew up to be a superior court judge, he married me when I was a corporate babe with a regular paycheck and my own benefits. When I turned full time fiction author he was proud, albeit confused. All those years on the corporate ladder, an MBA and I suddenly I wanted to write stories about made up people, beat myself up when I was rejected and spend sleepless nights wondering if I had what it really takes even after publishing 23 books? I made him crazy.

When I bore him two handsome sons who preferred ballet to baseball, he had to take a full-blown time out. Not only did he have to deal with his own momentary disappointment that his sons would be wearing jock straps under tights instead of football uniforms, he had to prepare himself for parenting challenges that were a little more complicated than the shake-it-off-suck-it-up variety.

Thankfully, he had already watched me go through ‘creative’ growing pains. But I was an adult, able to analyze my own journey as I went from a corporate to creative career. Children were a different matter all together – especially boy children.

Girls can become divas and everyone swoons, yet for boys who choose to sing, dance and act, their formative years can be tough. As they grow older, the boy who can kick a field goal is revered over the boy who can high kick. It is up to parents to help their children navigate the taut rope that runs between nurturing a truly talented kid and putting on blinders regarding the impact their creative tendency might have on their overall maturity.

Now that our children are in their twenties and pursuing their chosen professions, I can look back and pick out a few key decisions that helped us raise well-adjusted young men who are constructive as well as artistic.

Watch for signs that a child’s creativity is becoming obsessive or a source of ridicule at school. When our youngest joined the girls’ dance team to meet a PE requirement we had an honest conversation about the social fall-out. Luckily, he was a self-assured kid who handled it well and overcame the negatives by involving himself in journalism, science and other disciplines that created ‘cross-cultural’ friendships at school. He also never lacked for a date since he was the only boy on the team. According to him, this was a huge benefit.

We did not pour money into dance, voice and acting classes (no matter how much they begged). Instead, we made sure that the cost/benefit was in line before we committed to any instruction. We never paid the fees to have our kids in the chorus of a huge production at the local theatre just so they could appear on stage. Instead, we found out what they would be taught. If they were going to be in the chorus but had the opportunity to have a true learning experience (sets, costuming, acting instruction) then our money was well-spent. The point of classes is always to move them forward, not just showcase a cute kid.

As our children grew in their performance skills, we made a conscious choice to be realistic, objective and honest about their abilities. We did not gush over our children (even when we wanted to). On the other hand, we did not criticize and beat them up for being less than perfect on stage. We gave praise when it was earned and navigated criticism with questions and comments that led them to self-examination. We enlisted the help of their directors and coaches. The one thing we praised consistently was effort. Getting on a stage, sharing your writing or singing for a crowd is never easy. Any person – young or old – who publicly unveils their creativity deserves praise for courage alone. Yet, to consistently praise or belittle a young talent leads to the inability to view themselves objectively and may keep them from finding their true voice. We tried to find the correct ‘notes’ for praise and criticism for each performance.

Finally, we pointed out that the real world is full of stars. Honesty as children grow into an artistic career will help them deal with both rejection and acceptance graciously. It will also help them decide if they are willing fight the battles inherent in such professions or settle for less than stardom.

Both our boys wanted to be in theatre when they were young. When they hit college their paths diverged: the eldest found his passion was film and our younger son became a playwright. At this point, our job was to help them analyze the reality of their career choices. We talked about salaries, cost of living, family obligations should they marry and career stability. These conversations are ongoing and important in terms of creating a foundation for living off the stage.
By the end of their college careers, the youngest one was already a published playwright and, this year, he was a finalist in the O’Neill Awards competition. Our oldest found he had a keen eye for movie production and marketing and now runs his own talent management firm and is producing his first movie. They both are still working in industries they love, just not in the capacity they envisioned as children.

So, heck yeah! Raise a little creative Cain or Abel. Just make sure he or she is able to handle the pressures, challenges, heartaches and, yes, triumphs that come with choosing a creative career.

(l) Eric, playwright now serving in the Peace Corps in Albania. (r) Alex, a talent manager and producer.

0 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM